A Fylde adventurer is within days of breaking the record for the longest time spent alone on a remote island in the Atlantic Sea.
Thirty-nine-year old Nick Hancock, who grew up in Ansdell and went to King Edward VII and Queen Mary School in St Annes, has just completed 30 days on Rockall to raise money for Help for Heroes.
Nick, a surveyor now living in Edinburgh, is bidding to break the 40-day solo record for staying on the tiny rock, 290 miles off the Scottish coastline.
He had hoped to stay on the island, formed from an extinct volcano, for 60 days, but a force nine gale ruined plans last week, destroying food supplies and damaging his ‘home’, a tiny steel pod.
Nick said: “It was the scariest night of my life.
“The pod was shifted by the gale, despite being held in place by bolts
“The storm came out of nowhere. Both the wind and the waves came from the south, which is really unlucky because the pod’s on the south side.
“It’s only 15m above water — and the waves were up to five metres high. They hit the rock, then the wind took the spray right up to my level.”
Nick tried to break the record for staying on the island last year, but bad weather ruined his plans.
Having lost so much food this time, he will not be able to stay for his target of 60 days – though he still hopes to make it to 45 days and break the world record.
He added: “I’ve got plenty of water, and if I really eke out the food I should make it.
“I’ve already alerted my team to ask them to pick me up early. And, if they can’t land their boat, the coastguard will collect me by helicopter.”
Nick is hoping to break the 40 day solo record of former SAS soldier Tom McClean, who lived in a wooden shelter in 1985. In 1997, three Greenpeace members set the group record of 42 days.